NFLPA’s George Atallah on next steps in Tom Brady case
NFLPA’s George Atallah shared the union’s take on a federal court’s ruling that Tom Brady will have to serve his four-game suspension for DeflateGate. Here are some of his remarks:
DP: How did this go over yesterday when you got the news? And did you expect this news?
GA: We were surprised because you never want to be on that end of a decision. But I think when you read through the descent you realize that we made a lot of strong points. It’s unfortunate that we’re still talking about this issue. I’m also obligated by my job to come and talk about this issue because it just seems like it wont end. And I hate to be the bearer of bad news but it doesn’t seem like it’s going to end any time soon either here … if Tom decides that he wants to continue to pursue any further options. So you don’t like to be on this end of a decision but the union doesn’t look at outcomes, we look at process. And if we believe that a players rights have been violated it’s our obligation to fight and we’ve done that over the course of many many years now regardless of what a judge may say.
DP: Is meditation or a settlement a possibility?
GA: I think the only chance that we have at this point for a mediation or for a settlement … we would need a level headed and influential team owner to step in an broker some kind of deal. We’ve always felt that way that if it was between the commissioner making up his mind to come up with some sorta reasonable solution to this, we wouldn’t get there. And it’s been proved that we haven’t gotten there. Unfortunately, that one owner who comes to mind at this point and he had such sway in 2011 [Robert Kraft] also happen to be on the receiving end of these penalties. So unless somebody else from that ownership group from that management council steps up and shows some necessary leadership here, again I don’t really see how that’s going to happen.